Global Experience In The Days Ahead
Nancy’s strong example in the following story is huge. There sincerely are many Mark types today and we
need to steer clear of following in their footsteps given the Counsel our Lord Jesus gave us almost two
thousand years ago. We pray you will be greatly edified through the story below.
Nancy grew up a Baptist. She was a sheep type, one who, for the most part, conformed to and supported
her home church’s doctrine, life-style and ministry activities. In a day of growing disrespect for Christian
leadership, her honoring demeanor was seen as such a precious commodity. Given the direction the world
was heading in relationship to this giving respect to who respect is due, Nancy applied the principle while at
the same time honoring another crucial principle: It is better to obey God than to follow the examples and
dictates of the ruling human authorities, be they individuals or the collective majority. In her respect for
leadership, she in turn gained the respect and admiration of others.
It was in her continued youthful vigor at the age of thirty-five when she met Mark, a man eight years her
senior. Enjoying a healthy relationship (in the eyes of the nominal American church), Nancy and Mark, as
single adults, grew to enjoy each other’s company. During the years they spent together, their relationship
matured. Over time, it blossomed into love for one another. Given the way they both were wired,
physically, they had no problem it being a platonic one.
One day Nancy’s ears fell captive to a sermon titled, “The State of the Church.” It seemed to be a fair
presentation, for both positive and negative observations were communicated by the visiting circuit
preacher. But it was what Nancy heard in the negative that really impacted her. At times she had
wondered about the very issues the preacher was raising, including the lack of intimacy with her Lord
and the passionate life of devotion to eternal things. Another concern of hers was how the church in
general, it seemed, was so like the world. Conflicting-with-Genesis-One views on origins, a renewed
(but different) emphasis on the formation of the Christ Spirit or “Christ Power” within and a promoting of
optimistic human potential to see realized a new dawn of global harmony were only a few of the things
that concerned her. These messages were not only being heralded at her work and social settings, they
had crept into her church as well. These seemed foreign to her until about five years back when she first
began hearing more an more appeal that Christianity must change or die. But it just so happened that the
visiting preacher touched upon many of these shared concerns. “Is this by coincidence?” she thought.
This state-of-the-church message caught her attention – so much so that she decided to give up her
Sunday evening and catch the same speaker for a seminar titled, Truth Matters! On Creation, Christ &
Cross and Consummation. Since she had the afternoon free, she took the sermon notes and visited
a web site that was mentioned in the message. At first she was confused by it all until she read one
small quote that helped put all the pieces together. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confi-
dence in man; it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8,9)
“WOW!” she said to herself, “What a simple concept, yet one that runs deep. ‘Simplicity in profundity.’
Hmmm, I like that,” she thought. As she read over pertinent messages and concise philosophical
statements about the issue of truth and how one comes to truth, the light further brightened. Now she
definitely didn’t want to miss the evening presentation. She was taken back by a reading on the third
web site (the first site had links to other sites) that appealed to Jesus’ application in Matthew 15 – how
God disdains the practice of religious traditions of man being placed above (as more authoritative
than) God’s Word.
It was during this reading that Nancy received an email from Mark. He was writing to invite her out to
dinner, to which she responded, “Well, I’m going to attend a seminar this evening. Would you care to
join me?” “Wonderful,” Mark thought when he received her immediate response, “she is online.” “I’ll
tell you what,” Mark replied. “Let’s catch both.” And that they did. Little did they realize at the time how
much that evening would forever affect their relationship. To make a long story short, Mark was offended
by the message that evening, labeling it as another one of those fundamentalist, doom-and-gloom per-
spectives about the last days. Nancy on the other hand, took the free devotional titled, One Year Book
of Bible Prayers and a simple but quality printout of a list of Scriptures about the days just prior to the
return of Jesus Christ. Ten minutes into their dinner they agreed not to talk further about the seminar,
for their discussion had become too heated. With the redirection of conversation topic, they went on to
once again enjoy one another’s company the rest of the evening.
This day began for Nancy a ten-year journey into the study of contemporary issues in light of biblical
prophecy. At the end of this period, which included a major inductive Bible study of end-time passages,
Nancy found herself better discerning religious culture through a biblical grid as opposed to one
offered by the (now dominate) contemporary religious community. This Christian culture had gone
from being pluralistic in perspective to syncretistic in mandate. “More than just interesting!” she
thought. She also critically observed that the two positions (the biblical one and the spiritual one
being offered by the contemporary church) were rapidly growing to be in direct opposition with one
another. Again, this fascinated her.
In the fourteenth year of her close relationship with Mark, global conditions were such that Nancy
could not remain as quiet as she had been in the past. Things were heating up eschatologically so
much so that she was compelled to speak out. She began telling others about pertinent Scripture
passages, web sites and other resources concerning crucial biblical themes unfolding in present
culture. Over this year she had countless discussions with Mark – brief ones, for the most part, due
to, at times, apparent lack of interest on his part. But it was more than that. Something was clearly
WRONG, for he seemed even further opposed to her concerns even though her warrants were
impeccably justified. The fact that Mark was coming from a Christian background also rang odd,
for through the years he had become more outspoken against biblical truths. “He should be more
open-minded about these matters,” Nancy thought.
It was almost a year later that she decided to be even more vocal with Mark about her discoveries.
She revisited an earlier discussion that she and Mark had had on the eternal consequences tied
to following the present global mandate to contribute to world peace through simply joining the
well-established One World Alliance by accepting the mark that provided both essential-for-living
and non-essential pleasantries of great sensual appeal.
To this, Mark finally had to respond. While addressing these very things one day, Nancy continued
to cast her points in a very clear and evidenced manner. She was especially touching upon this new
mark that was now being mandated by the global village. Enough was enough. We join them in
Mark shouted back, “But I was always told, ‘Once saved, always saved!’ If that’s really the case,
I can do whatever – even take this mark you’re calling ‘the mark of the beast.’ Come on Nanc! You
know full well that we have to take it in order to continue existing given the present-day conditions
that are clearly in full swing. God is gracious and will understand out plight. Surely He wouldn’t
reject His own simply because we took this silly mark. I’ll tell you what, Nancy, let’s strike a deal.
Let’s take the mark and then use it to buy necessary food for the other Christians who aren’t willing
to take it. This way we’re safe for sure! God will understand if we use this mark to help provide for
His people in Jesus.” After a short delay on Nancy’s part, Mark sought her response. “Honey, I
really need your feedback here!”
“Mark, I hear what you’re saying but God has been very clear on this issue. Those who are truly
His will not take this mark of the beast that is now being forced on the world. I know you acknow-
ledge the authority of God’s Word above the global ideas of some of the religious leaders of our
day. Mark, I love you dearly, you know that, but you must listen to me for just a minute, please!
While I strongly encourage you to reread the entire chapters of Revelation 13 and 14 on your own
after we part ways in just a few minutes, let me quote some key verses now. Don’t forget, these
verses must be read in their context. Mark, would you promise me that you’ll read these two
chapters when you go home this afternoon and think seriously about my point of view?”
"Nanc, I know you love me. And yes, I promise to read them when I get home.” His tears began
flowing once again, as did hers.
“Oh my love, you don’t know how much this means to me!” Nancy’s voice was so gentle and kind,
while at the same time both urgent and most serious. “While these verses that I want to share with
you are few, they are very important, so please listen carefully.” As Nancy read, Mark was impressed,
for never before had she spoken with such passion. And yet, Mark didn’t let her finish. As Nancy was
reading the Revelation 13:14-17 and Revelation 14:9-11 passages, Mark interrupted, “Nancy, I hear
your point but let me read this material on my own later today, okay?”
“Mark, you must. I’m floored by the accuracy of these passages! You see what’s happening out there,
I know you do. It’s not just the taking of the mark that we’re commanded to avoid. It’s also understood
that those who take the mark are aligning with this evil one. I know you see this and, like you, I also
acknowledge that refusing to take this mark will surely bring major consequences – possibly even
our death, I don’t know. But don’t you see the exchange we’ll be making if we yield? Let me share
one last thing with you before heading out to catch a meeting with Audrey.”
“If God’s Word continues to unfold as precisely as it has so far, the fate of those ‘Christians-by-name’
who compromise and take the mark will be much more terrible than those of us who reject the mark
and briefly suffer under the wrath of the antichrist.”
“Nanc, NO WAY! You’re out to lunch on this one,” Mark injected.
“Wait a minute,” Nancy relied. “Hear me out on this babe, please! The Word of God explicitly states
those who fall into this deception will not only incur the Bowls of God’s wrath but will also suffer His
eternal judgment in separation from God. According to many Bible passages, this will bring a
weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
But Nanc, we’ll also be here during that time if we decide to reject the mark and somehow escape
the persecution of this world leader,” Mark responded. “Then we, too, will receive God’s wrath in
these bowl judgments.”
“Mark, that’s NOT correct! The Bible says that God’s obedient people in Jesus Christ will never incur
His wrath. As a result,. We will be spared His terrible wrath which He’ll see poured out on the earth
during these bowls. You can read about this very deliverance in Revelation 14 where Jesus Christ
Himself comes and reaps His people from the earth in verses 14-16. Those gathered thereafter, at
a totally different gathering, are those who then are inflicted by these bowls of wrath. But God’s
people in Christ Jesus miss this second gathering – this wrath-gathering – as a result of the first
gathering at the final trumpet rapture gathering. Mark, it really does flow consistently through the
pages of Revelation AND the other Bible passages concur.
“I’m not sure I’m following the chronology here Nanc,” Mark relied.
“The Book of Revelation and the Gospels chronicle this event Mark – it’s awesome!”
Nancy continued: “Don’t you remember talking about this with me almost a year ago? The 11th and
14th chapters of Revelation emphatically state this very truth. At the final trumpet, which is mentioned
in I Corinthians 15, Matthew 24:31, I Thessalonians 4 and other passages, God will reap His people
from the face of the earth – He will spare them from the hour of trial which will come upon the earth.
Shortly thereafter the seventh trumpet rapture gathering, the bowls of His wrath will be poured out upon
those who have ‘the mark of the beast and those who worship his image.’ So, NO, Mark, God’s people
in the Lord Jesus will not be around when this time of God’s wrath is delivered. It’s only those who yield
to the deception of the wicked one who will be handed both the bowls of wrath and His eternal judgment.
So you see, it’s not an option for us to take this mark. It’s not worth a temporary waiving of the antichrist’s
wrath again us! Remember, dear heart, it’s those who endure to the end who will be saved. The patience
of the saints of God in Christ Jesus is to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus!”
“O.K. O.K. O.K.” was Mark’s comeback. After a moment, through, he responded with more composure.
“N a n c, you’ve given me a lot to think over tonight. It really seems that there’s no way in the world you’d
ever think twice about receiving this mark. Am I right! Am I hearing you correctly?”
“That’s right, my love.” With Nancy’s answer, Mark held her tight fro what seemed like hours. He was
taken back be her extended gesture of verbal care for him. Oh what depth of passion and sincere belief,
Mark thought. Gently taking he face in the palms of her hands, they exchanged an emotional kiss and
said good-bye. Nancy then ran off to enjoy one last time of fellowship with Audrey.
Four hours later, Nancy was arrested. She had already accepted the possibility of this scenario even
prior to her meeting with Mark earlier that afternoon due to how outspoken she had become about the
global mandate to receive the mark; given the Word’s emphasis on deception and specifically Mt. 24:10,
Nancy wanted to be one who demonstrated the opposite of that which was prophesied in the last phrase
of the verse. She wanted to love Mark even though it was a possibility that he would turn out to be one
of many who fulfilled what is predicted in the middle portion of that same verse. She grieved over what
seemed to be a confirmation that he was indeed one of those unwilling to take a stand for the true
Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was now very dark, but not for Nancy. In great subtle duplicity,
the deceiver managed, once again, to lead another astray.
“And then many will fall away [NKJV: “be offended"] and betray one another and hate one another.”
(Matthew 24:10; ESV) Then, after the initial wave of deception (Mt. 24:4) – which takes place prior to the
events spoken of in verse 10 – a second round of deception is determined: “And many false prophets will
arise and lead many astray.” (vs. 11) And yet, a THIRD round of deception will also come, this taking place
AFTER the Great Tribulation: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not
believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead
astray, if possible, even the elect.” (vv. 23,24; ESV) Yes, deceptions is a HUGE theme during the days prior
to Jesus Christ’s initial appearing! It’s the Word of God that offers to be a light unto our path and a lamp
unto our feet IF we’re willing to turn it on by simply reading it.
Are you familiar enough with what the Word of God clearly says concerning our days – the days prior to
Jesus Christ’s second coming? Eternity now hinges in the balance in relationship to these end-time topics,
for those who talk themselves into justifying the acts of embracing the spirit of antichrist and/or receiving
the mark of the beast will, no exceptions, face the earthly wrath of God during the Bowls of Wrath AND the
eternal judgment of God in the Lake of Fire. TODAY is a good day to begin, if you have not already,
thinking about these present and future things. The spirit of antichrist is present and the mark of the
beast will be here before we know it.
For more information about these pressing matters, keep reading. Our eternal state matters so. Eternity
sincerely is a VERY LONG time!
Click Here to go to the next pertinent story – Faulty Preparedness.